#Festival of 86

Last Saturday was spectacular, it almost felt like spring was here. Birds singing in trees, no clouds in the sky, sun shining down on our sunburnt nation and the smell of… octane, Why? It’s because Toyota Australia invited 250 of their most dedicated fans to bring their car back to the mothership (in Australia anyway). The car in question is the Toyota 86 and what was great was that if you owned a BRZ or an original AE86, you were invited too. Also in attendance was Beau Yates, Neil Bates and Tetsuya Tada, chief engineer on the 86 project. How did I, Shaun Kok get into such an event on account of I don’t have an 86 you might ask? Well my buddy Lee happens to have purchased an 86 and recently at that.

For the attendees free food, drink and entertainment were abound and plenty of Toyota 86s to take your fancy and make you thoroughly bored with the idea I am sure, although I love cars so this was somewhat a boon for me. I went not hungry, thirsty or lacking in sights and sounds for the whole day so without further ado, I know you, came to see pictures because words are poignant but secretly we are all kids impatient for the “Where’s Wally” picturebook.

Click for hi-res.

86 Logo

It’s all about 86, Toyota 86 that is.

A Lee Car

My friend Lee who recently took delivery of a grey 86 GTS, he’s the reason why I, your intrepid blogger got to go in the first place.


Lined up for entry to Toyota-land. It seemed like some amusement park entry, this was Toyota, one of the biggest car companies in the world.


First thing I saw when I got in was this seemingly rally spec Cusco race car, looked pretty serious, not sure about the wheels.


Ok the RX100 camera wasn’t exactly pro however this thing looked very streetable, once again, not sure about the wheels, but to each his own.


Even though the wheels were iffy the engine bay certainly was not, swathes of carbon fibre with some lovely aluminium braces


Work wheels look the business and Pikachu probably couldn’t find a more solid wheel to attempt to hide behind.


An 86 shortage you say, I have to wait 6-7 months before mine arrives eh? Actually there was around 10 of these car parks just loaded with 86s, BRZs and AE86s


I believe NSW 86/BRZ club was there in force, this is one of their rather serious looking rides.


Looks the business, check out the interior below


Alcantara for incontinence on the dash – check. Carbon fibre in place of speedo and other related and just as important dials – check. Seats, solid like rock – check. It’s a race car.


Many people, all here for the love of the number 86


Tetsuya Tada signing autographs for virtually the whole time we were there. This man is a signing and engineering machine! He was so gracious, shaking hands with everyone who lined up for ages. A rockstar in the owners eyes, I bet he’s just a regular guy who loves to engineer great cars. Wonder what he’ll do next? I can’t imagine anything could be as exciting as “Project FT-86”


A recipe for success or RSI, either way with a queue like this.


Mysterious (to me anyway) racecar with the Rocket Bunny/GReddy wide body kit. Got to see and touch the kit up close. Avid readers may have heard that I wanted to do this to an 86 but I cancelled on the car *sigh*.


Plenty wide, looks good even in raw form.


The roll cage is a custom job, looks the part and I am sure, doesn’t come with warranty. Son, do you know how fast you were going, where your bootlid is, what happened to all the windows in your car?


Nice embellishment on the custom frame


Interior like this, because race car that’s why.


Turbo 86, at Toyota’s HQ!


Initial D reference, always a favourite.


Tough AE86


Wide AE86


One for the Dr. Who fans


Free food. As my brother and fellow blogger said “I’m a slut for free food”, thinking on that, who isn’t?


There were many sausages there of varying colour and shape. This one was mine. Ed – That sounds wrong.


This BRZ was cooler than the rest, it had many STI badges on it.


Kelly has a cool car, love the Volks.


Queensland represent! Agent 86 likes some vinyling, I concur, on the vinyl front.


This young man just had his dash panel signed by Tada-San. Proud moment no doubt. Seemed to be a trend that day.


(L to R) Beau Yates, Neil Bates and a guy I am sure I should know but I don’t.


So close to the front of the queue! You can smell the permanent marker fumes.


Lee is shaking the hand of the man who engineered his car, rare moment. Can you say that you shook the hand of your car’s chief engineer. For the most of us, no.


Justin just got his free #Festivalof86 shirt signed, that ones i going up in the man-cave.


Neil Bates had a cool Initial D 86 GT on show, his own personal ride. Race drivers don’t need satnav but they do need Motec’s dash logger.


The best of the breeds. 86 looks angrier and fangier somehow. Both are screaming at each other for stealing the show.


Here’s an interesting AE86, all tough, old-school-ey just like the usual fare right?


Actually it has a Nissan engine, sneaky fella got Yokohama’s finest into a Toyota festival.


Rollcage, difficult ingress and some cargo equipment. Good for racing, bad for bad backs.


Extended fuel tank for racing. Good for mileage, not good for luggage space.


Queuing for the big driveway photo.


Everyone out of your car!


Setup to shoot


The man himself, Tada-San with his many creations.


The “Oh what a feeling” shot, they messed it up a couple of times. Tada-San decided enough jumping on account of his shoulder. He is an engineer after all.


Lee getting his photo taken with Tada-San again because i ruined the last shot


Buying a Classic Car

It’s exciting, tedious, fun, full of danger, uncertainty and desire. Why, well because I am doing right now. I am trying to be a bit different and not just go for the easy way out (though I might still chicken out yet) with a new shiny un molested, un-scary Toyota 86. The object of my sudden silliness and possible short-sightedness with no commercial common sense is the 1985 Porsche 911 Carerra 3.2. It’s the no frills less scary but hummingly harmonious sister to the angry 930 Turbo which seems to be a bit muted sounding stock (most likely due to the huge turbo). It looks the part with it’s sleek bodywork but won’t kill you with sudden oversteer when the boost kicks in, it is the perfect Porsche for me. I am not rich and most of us aren’t so when one comes up on the online classifieds for $35K it set my tongue wagging. It wasn’t the best colour and the wheels were a bit iffy but I only had three letters in mind; R-W-B.

If those letters mean something to you then you are a car bore and probably wear a baseball cap and you drive something JDM. If you haven’t then let me help you out RWB means Rauh Welt Belgriff,a car tuning shop based in Chiba, north of Tokyo… Japan, run by Nakai-San. The name literally means “Rough World” in German. Why German, well because the type of car he works on most is the 911 Porsche although based on a Q&A with Speedhunters he is happy to work on any car to give it that “Rauh Welt” touch.

What is immediately special about the headline RWB cars are their hugely swollen wheel arches. The cars look like they belong on a race track and rightly so because they barely fit on the street. It’s caricature but it’s also functionally allowing very wide wheels and tyres to give you more grip. Some love this and others heavily dislike what Nakai-San is doing to the last of the pure 911s. I believe it is a tough evolution of a classic shape and if you have ever dreamt of driving or owning a Porsche RSR race car from the 70’s or 80’s then this is the tuner “haus” for you.


Rauh Welt Porsche 911

The Shop:

The Official Site:


Rocket Bunny Scion FRS

Looking at Akira Nakai I am reminded heavily of another tuner in Japan who happens to make another wide body kit for the Toyota 86 (Segue Level: Expert), Kei Miura of TRA Kyoto Rocket Bunny 6666 Customs. It happens that I am very interested in the Rocket Bunny kit for the 86 if I go down that path (which is till have the order in for an am going to be waiting until August).

I guess I am at a crossroads, and I am in need of a car. Do I go classic and the possibility of financial ruin or stay safe and buy the new Toyota 86 with it’s capped price servicing and warranty.

One of my friends put it quite nicely on the subject of cars (I am paraphrasing), “cars are c**ts to a profitable life”.